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Coalition, Iraqi Forces Detain 17 Suspects in Iraq

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2007 – Coalition and Iraqi forces detained 17 suspects during recent operations in Iraq, military officials said.

In a raid yesterday morning, soldiers of the 11th Iraqi Army Division entered the Abu Hanifa Mosque in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah neighorhood and detained 12 suspects, including two known terrorists who were using the mosque as a base.

The captured individuals are suspected of emplacing improvised explosive devices, kidnapping and murdering Iraqi civilians, and attacking coalition and Iraqi forces across Baghdad. The suspects also are linked to al Qaeda members, military officials said.

Acting on tips provided by local citizens, Iraqi army soldiers requested proper permission to enter the mosque compound. The Iraqi army then came under fire from inside the building. The troops returned fire and wounded one insurgent. Iraqi troops pursued the attackers throughout the mosque compound, eventually detaining the 12 insurgents.

As U.S. soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, secured the perimeter, they also came under small-arms fire and grenade attacks. U.S. troops suffered no injuries during the operation.

Army Lt. Col. Jeff Broadwater, the battalion’s commander, said he and Iraqi Col. Adel, commander of the 11th Iraqi Army Division’s 1st Battalion, 1st Regiment, considered all tactical options before requesting permission to conduct the operation due to the mosque’s religious significance.

In other operations, Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained five suspected extremists Nov. 2 in the Iraqi capital’s Rashid District.

Soldiers of 1st Infantry Division’s Company A, 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, raided two homes where tipsters said two terrorists were hiding. Military officials believe the two individuals were involved in weapons trafficking, mounting attacks against coalition forces and murdering translators. Troops captured both suspects.

Later that morning, "Warriors" from Company C, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, attached to the 1st Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team, captured a man who was identified by two sources as having emplaced improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.

During a patrol a few hours later, the "Warriors" detained a man suspected of attacking Multinational Division Baghdad troops with small arms and IEDs. Fifteen minutes later, while raiding a house in the Doura region of Baghdad, Company C troops detained a suspect who allegedly led IED attacks, military officials said.

The five suspects were taken into custody and are being held for further questioning.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq news releases.)

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